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CALENDAR OF EVENTS

December 2019
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Day of Peace Observed in Sao Paulo

Sao Paulo, Brazil - Three International Day of Peace events took place in Sao Paulo: a celebration at the Pateo do Colegio on September 21, the inauguration of a Peace Monument at the Youth Park on September, and a Festival of Nations on September 24.

Pateo do Colegio - A commemoration of the International Day of Peace in the Pateo do Colegio, Sao Paulo, on September 21 was organized by the Commercial Association of São Paulo with the support of the City Hall and several other organizations, including interfaith groups such as the Universal Peace Federation. It took place at square in front of the historical Jesuit church and school marking the site were the city was founded in 1554, beside the Padre Jose de Anchieta Museum and the first Peace Monument, which was was built in 2000.

The MC welcomed everybody and asked the audience to stand to begin the event with the Legion of Good Will children's choir, who sung the Brazilian National Anthem.

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Father Carlos Contieri, director of the Pateo do Colégio, gave the invocation asking God’s blessing on this special day for all participants become instrument of peace.

Rogério Amato, President of the Commercial Association of Sao Paulo, gave the opening remarks, speaking about the continuing commitment of the association to promote a culture of peace and events such as the International Day of Peace and the Peace Monument Project. Then he gave four peace monument replicas as awards to the following people:

Felipe Clemente Santos, vice-president of the Association to Prevent Intellectual Deficiency; Luisa Mell, well-known TV presenter and animal protector activist; Rose Marie Inojosa, coordinator of the University of the Environment and Culture of Peace (UMAPAZ); and Luciana Ferraz, National Coordinator of the Brahma Kumaris in Brazil.

Father Jose Bizon, coordinator of the Catholic Conference on Ecumenism and Interfaith, spoke on behalf of Cardinal Odilo Scherer on the importance of the presence of the religious representatives to celebrate Peace Day. Eloisa Sousa, Sao Paulo State Secretary of Justice, was pleased to participate and explained the importance of her mission promoting more justice and human rights for all citizens as a basis for a more secure and peaceful society.

The famous Guitar and Trumpet Orchestra and Choir from Maua presented a few songs; then Dr. Pedro Paulo was called to read the UN International Peace Day message. We heard a few more songs from the soprano singer Andrea Bien and from Luigi Benucci.

Cyro Leao, representing the Shamanist tradition and the United Religions Initiative, beat a drum and asked the audience to synchronize their own heart beat with it in order to create a feeling of unity and peace.

Marly Pedra and Celia Regina from the United Religions Initiative Women's Circle of Urusvati House offered the Roerich Peace Flag to Mr. Luigi Brancati, president and founder of the Peace Monument project. Then the trophy winners were called to join together for a picture. Mr. Luis D´Angelo, president of the Raices Argentinas group and Ambassador for Peace, shared a few words about his social activities to promote peace in Argentina. The MC invited the participants to attend the newly built peace monument inauguration ceremony to take place in the afternoon.

For photos, click here.

Inauguration of a Peace Monument in the Youth Park

The Commercial Association of São Paulo (ACSP) chose this special day to inaugurate a new Peace Monument in the Youth Park (Parque da Juventude), symbolizing a new history for this neighborhood since the park was built on the area where the Carandiru prison had operated for more than 80 years. The prison was demolished after a violent revolt that killed 111 prisoners.

The Peace Monument was conceived 11 years ago by Italian Luigi Gaetano Brancati, who in his youth witnessed the violence of the Second World War.

The event was attended by local authorities, leaders of organizations promoting a culture of peace, and leaders of different religions. Among them were Joao Bico (Superintendent of ACSP Northern District), Joao de Favari (vice president of ACSP), Enio Gomes (Vila Maria District Superintendent of ACSP), Paulo Pavan (director of the Youth Park), Dom Milton Kenan Jr. (auxiliary bishop of Sao Paulo), Christian Lepelletier (vice-president of the Universal Peace Federation), José Francisco Giannoni (mayor of Santana / Tucuruvi), Rev. Elias Pinto (United Religions Initiative World Councilor), Fabio Mourão (President of the Santana Lawyers Association), Mr. Watinaga (a military officer), and representatives from the fire department and the civil police.

About 500 children came from the following local schools: Imperatriz Leopoldina from Santana, Branca Alves de Lima from Freguesia de O, Adolpho Otto de Laet from Mandaqui, and Republica de Bolivia from Jardim São Paulo. A youth group from the Family Federation for World Peace attended the event. One student from each school read a sentence about the importance of peace and received a miniature replica of the Peace Monument.

Gaetano Luigi, Ambassador for Peace, founder and president of the Peace Monument project, opened the ceremony and shared about the origin and importance of this initiative. "Today is a day of glory for all of us, especially when I see the presence of children. They represent the hope of a better world. They are our future, and we are the one who will plant the seeds of peace in them," said Luigi, who has lived in Brazil for more than 40 years. "I was a child during World War II. I was eight years old when the church bells rang announcing the end of the war. The Peace Monument was created to remind everyone of the importance of promoting peace in the world."

Luigi took the occasion to announce that the next Peace Monument will be inaugurated in Assisi, Italy, on November 13, with the presence of Pope Benedict XVI, as has been confirmed by the Vatican.

Then, Joao Bico, District Superintendent of Northern ACSP, reminded everyone of the importance of choosing the Youth Park to erect the monument. "Before this park was here, the Carandiru Prison was for decades the scene of sorrow and pain," he said. "This place has been reborn as a park. The hope is that everyone passing by the Peace Monument, which has no political or religious connotation, can reflect on the culture of peace and remember that by sowing and cultivating peace, we will have peace. "

After the speeches, a full scholarship to attend college and university was awarded to the three sons of Sgt. Renato Leite Barbosa, who was killed last month. A document was delivered to his widow, Marcia Leite Barbosa. To conclude the ceremony, 2,000 white balloons were released accompanied by the melody of the song "Progress," by Brazilian singer Roberto Carlos.

For a link for the pictures, click here.
This report was adapted from an article published in Gazete da Zone Norte.

Festival of Nations

The fifth Festival of Nations was organized by the Women's Federation for World Peace on September 24. Several cultural organizations, volunteers, and Ambassadors for Peace joined together to promote friendship between people of the ten nations represented at the event.

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Each delegation was invited to show a sample of their unique and beautiful culture through dance, songs, music, and typical national food. The event started with the entrance of the national flag to the music of the national anthem.

To commemorate the International Day of Peace, the Master of Ceremonies read UN General-Secretary Ban Ki-moon’s message in Portuguese while the audience could see the video on the screen. The event attracted more than 500 people; many guests came, including representatives of the Indian, Philippines, and American embassy or consulate.

The theme of the event, “A Global Family,” was manifest when all delegations joined together on the stage for the grand finale singing “We Are the World.” Everyone joined hands, sang, and moved back and forth together as indeed one family of mankind with a feeling of unity and hope that one day the whole world will be in peace.

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